Workshop Hands
Poem by Patrick Carrington  •  Art by Zenon Toczek

Before we find those places
that we fit, you pool.
Ribs rise, a gasp and grind
as if it already is. Yes,
it will happen low in a hard press,
but not until you know my hands.
Palm to waist and finger curl,
a scraping scratch and spread.
Do you feel the ocean,
the oak? Hook and nail?
Blood is leaking so you know
the sliced bluefish, the rub
of worked wood. The cock
that hardened for the reel,
petrified for every hammer hit
on timber. Slanted stiff
for feeding, for building,
the way it rises and rocks now
to nourish you, reconstruct you.
To spin you in, gut and sand you
(first appeared in Clean Sheets)